The market surged last week and continues to be strong. Initially demand surged as supplies tightened but appears to have peaked at current levels. Unexpected cool weather remains along the coast but a return to near normal temperatures is forecast for the weekend. Adding to demand has been an industry wide shift away from Romaine. Future supplies will also be restricted by labor shortages through the Spring. Quality has been improving but many variations of weight, color and texture continue to show issues on arrival as some shippers have been in various stages of scheduled harvest.. Las Cruces , NM will continue to run through late May. Quality has been excellent with weights expected to be optimal by the weekend. Transportation has been available.
Romaine and Heart production continues to be moderate while demand continues to erode on NON and Miscommunication from government agencies regarding E.coli outbreak on Chopped Romaine from Yuma Valley. Ideal weather has improved quality and supplies appear to be steady. Labor shortages will avert any potential oversupply. Expect continued variations in quality, availability and price throughout the month. The Green leaf and Red leaf markets have strengthened with improved demand as some receivers shift focus from Romaine.
Production mostly from Mexico and Southern California continues with steady supplies. A few growers have begun limited production from Salinas adding to an already heavy supply. Demand continues steady with volume deals still available. Quality continues to be mostly very good.
It seems that the market has bottomed out and some shippers are beginning to take their prices higher claiming lighter supplies over the next 10 days. There are still some shippers that are looking to make deals but this may not last long.
Slightly less demand and increased volume this week, forced suppliers to sharpen prices for a few days. Weather this week in all growing areas is forecast for partly sunny skies with highs in the 60s and increasing to the 70s by Friday and lows in the 40s to 50s. Fruit should be available in Santa Maria and Oxnard, with Salinas/Watsonville increasing their volume. The Santa Maria area has better quality fruit with good size although there are still signs of bruising and some misshapen. Oxnard fruit is running much smaller with counts in the mid-20s to 30s, with some windburn, seedy and overripe. Salinas/Watsonville is reporting some white shoulder. There should be good availability going into the Mother’s Day pull, as long as weather remains as forecasted.
Look for increasing supplies into the weekend. Expect a wide range in pricing between suppliers.
Good supplies at promotable prices loading out of the Salinas and Watsonville area thru the middle of the month
Availability continues to be very limited out of California. Mexico is now past peak production and will continue to trend down moving forward. Domestic harvest is still 2-3 weeks away. We do not expect to see any major disruption in coverage through mid-May, but we may see some more severe shortages late may as we wait for the transition between Mexico and California to take place. The suppliers are expecting Salinas, Watsonville and Santa Maria areas to ramp up mid to late May. Supplies are not expected to fully rebound until June.
Domestic blueberry supplies will slowly improve. California is slated to harvest increasing supplies week over week as we move into the summer season. Florida and Georgia have been consistent on production, but rain in Florida may slow down harvest this week. Central valley should begin in about 10 days. Quality is being reported as good in all areas. Demand seems to be a little lighter, as we wait for markets to adjust down with the anticipation of more volume. Mexico production is trending down. Quality is fair, and prices are lower. We expect to see domestic harvest continue to improve with promotable volumes in California over the next 2-4 weeks.
Raspberries continue to be short and availability is become increasingly limited into next week. Domestic harvest remains steady to limited and we expect volumes to ramp up in the coming weeks. This leaves Mexico as the primary source of production, and they have passed their peak. Demand continues to exceed supply. Market prices are higher. This shortage will continue until Santa Maria, Salinas and Watsonville areas start up. We expect shippers to begin to scratch the surface of California harvest this weekend and gradually increase moving forward.
Demand has increased and yields are declining. I have had a few shippers in the Salinas Valley inform me that they are having issues with hollow core thus having to walk past quite a bit of product. The market will remain strong for the remainder of the week.
Production from Mexico has slowed as supplies shift to cooler production areas. Combined with limited domestic acreage the market firmed . Demand remains strong with Mother’s Day approaching . Quality from California has been excellent. Eastern regional production areas including New Jersey and Michigan are expected to help fill in supplies as the weather improves. Organic supplies are expected to be tight on limited domestic production..Quality has been excellent.
Production of the heirloom artichoke is peaking with large sizing profile although increased volume on all sizes are available. Heavy demand for Mother’s Day will keep supplies moving. Now is the time to take advantage of the superior Heirloom variety. Moderate supplies of the “thornless” variety continue to be available at reduced pricing.
As expected the cantaloupe market struggles this week under the weight of ample off shore production; moderate increases in Mexican supplies and even the start of the domestic harvest (albeit light). Sizes on all areas skewed smaller with few jbo 9s, sufficient regular 9s and abundant 12s and smaller. Demand was slowed going into the week by stubborn stormy and cold weather in Midwest, Southeast and East Coat population areas. By mid week however weather in those areas was moderating and warmer temps were having their spring awakening. Next week off shore production will continue to be ample and skewing small. Mexican production could begin to increase but still looks inconsistent and spotty also with sizes skewing small. Domestic production could increase with a couple of more participants joining the party, but disruptions during planting and the early growing cycle will keep it yields in check for the next 10 days or so. We look for the market to be steady with some discounting on regular 9s, with 12s and 15s continuing to reel, wheel and deal next week. Prices should improve and the market heat up the week after next as off shore production wanes.
Overall volume on honeydews has been less than honeydews all winter and into early spring. Plantings have been decreased in reaction to recent seasons’ market disappointments. That being said, off shores production continued apace skewing towards 5s and 6s. Mexican production as well. Domestic production is still 7-10 days off. Demand was dull and steady and was further impeded this week by the dropping cantaloupe market. Next week the current production pattern looks to continue with offshore bringing in ample supplies, Mexico increasing a bit and domestic not beginning at all until the very end of the week at the earliest. Demand should continue to be lackluster leading to barely steady market with some discounting thought the period.
OG Broccoli & Cauliflower
Cauliflower Production has been slowed by extended cooler than normal weather but should steady as a return to normal temperatures is expected, Quality has been excellent.
Broccoli production has improved and quality is also improving with the mild weather.
OG Herbs & Bunch Greens
Most Herbs and Bunching Greens have maintained good production although expect some volatility in supplies throughout the month. The market is expected to stay steady.
OG Leaf and Iceberg Lettuce
Leaf, Iceberg as well as Romaine supplies continue steady with improved availability and quality.
Lemons: The crop has been very good quality with mostly large sizing profile . The market has adjusted on larger sizes but the smaller sizes are expected to remain strong through the month.
Oranges: Valencia’s supplies have improved with improving sizing and sugar profile. Demand continues strong.
Limes: Quality was showing signs of improvement from Mexico and the market continues strong. California production is limited but will improve in coming weeks.
Grapefruit: Supplies have been steady with good quality and demand keeping prices elevated. Sizing profiles have increased substantially .
Mandarins: Clementine production has begun to decrease as the California season nears its’ end.
OG Root Vegetables
Carrot Production has been slow but warmer weather has helped improve supplies although advanced notice is still required with current heavy demand .
Potato supplies from California have begun with production ramping up on Gold and Red with Russets expected to be the last variety to start by June.
Onion demand has been very good and the market continues strong as new crop production has begun from Southern California deserts.
Mexico: Production from Mexico has been increasing with continued strong demand. Expected steady supplies through the month.
California: California Hass continue with strong demand and elevated pricing compared to imports and other varieties.
OG Watermelons Supplies on seedless are steady. Quality has been good from Mexico. Availability has improved and the market is good from Nogales and Florida. Mini seedless supplies continue to be limited until mid month.
OG Cantaloupes and Honeydews production from Nogales is available with good quality and Domestic supplies are expected in a couple weeks from the California , Arizona deserts.
Green & Red : Mexico production has begun on limited supplies but will ramp up volume by next week. The market has begun strong but should even out as supplies increase.